A Psychological Advantage

Advisa helps companies put the right people in the right seats

By Mike Corbett

Advisa - Carmel IndianaSix minutes. That’s all the time it takes to complete the Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment. But in that time you and your employees will reveal insights about yourselves that, properly interpreted, can help predict how well you will perform your jobs. It’s one of a battery of tests offered by Advisa, a Carmel company that’s built a nationwide clientele over the past 30 years from its home office in the Arts and Design District.

Wartime beginnings

The Predictive Index was conceived by Arnold Daniels, a bombardier in World War 2, who wondered why some people were better at their jobs than others, why some people thrived in combat while others failed. The military actually sent him to business school to help it figure out a way to predict who would perform better in battle. After the war, Daniels developed his research into the Predictive Index and recruited psychologists across the country to help market it to businesses.

In 1986, Carmel resident Bob Wilson landed the rights to the Predictive Index for this area, and started the firm Bob Wilson and Associates with just Bob Wilson. Over the years he added associates and renamed the company Advisa in 2007.  Today the firm is a team of 22, who coach, consult and train employees for more than 300 companies across the country; clients like California Pizza Oven, Franciscan Alliance, High Alpha Venture Capital and Katz Sapper Miller.


Training component

Heather Haas - Advisa13 years ago, Heather Haas was working for Carmel Clay schools as a teacher and administrator. She learned about Advisa while working on a project for Apple Computer to develop a website for Indiana schoolteachers. She saw an opportunity to use her educational background in a new way and joined Advisa as Training and Recruitment manager. Today she’s the President and stresses that the firm has branched out beyond the predictive Index, offering leadership training and strategic consulting based on employee assessments.

Haas sees many parallels between classroom teaching and business leadership development. People are complex, she says, and enter the workforce at many different skill levels. “Most managers get promoted without any knowledge of how to manage people. They come up through the ranks and have never had a business class.”

But even business school doesn’t guarantee success. So on most days you will find trainees attending workshops in one of the training rooms in Advisa’s office in their historic Italianate building on Range Line Road. “There always has been a training component to the Predictive Index Assessment,” says Haas. “There’s a huge gap between knowing something theoretically and actually doing it.” 

Industry leader

Haas is proud of Advisa’s track record in the assessment industry. Since 1986, its renewal rate among consulting clients is better than 90%, ranking it #2 among the 60 firms worldwide that conduct the Predictive Index. She sees a world of opportunity ahead as baby boomers continue to retire. “As experienced leaders exit the workforce,” she says, “they leave a leadership gap.” Succession planning, leadership development and employee engagement all become much more important.

It’s all about getting people in the right seats and giving them the tools to do their jobs better. And the more you know about your people, the easier it is to manage them.  “If we understand each other better, we’ll work together better.”